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North Country Trail

Boonville to
Black River Canal, Alder Pond


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This ten mile section of the North Country Trail is the "gateway to the Adirondacks", as it currently is the last "off road" section before crossing the "Blue Line" (Adirondack Park boundary).  This section begins off NY 12 at the corner of Main Street in Boonville.  After a short 0.15 mile road walk on busy NY 12 from the end of the last section at the gas station, the trail begins again by following the park road toward the covered bridge.  Cross the covered bridge and the Black River Canal then turn right to begin to follow the Black River Canal (Forestport Feeder section).

The trail continues along the tow path of the old Black River Canal.  The 77-mile long Black River Canal was an engineering marvel of the 19th century.  Built between 1837 and 1855, the Black River Canal ran uphill, connecting the waters of the Erie Canal with those of Black River.  The southern section of the overland canal linked Rome and Boonville, a distance of  25 miles. 

Following the rugged Lansing Kill Gorge, this section of the canal rose 693 feet and required 70 locks.  The northern section of the overland canal connected Boonville and Lyons Falls, a distance of 10 miles.  This section of the canal descended 386 feet and required 39 locks.  All together, the Black River Canal had 109 locks--still a world record.  

Between Lyons Falls and Carthage, a distance of 42 miles, the Black River itself was canalized for slack-water navigation.  By giving the North Country access to  eastern and midwestern markets, the Black River Canal was instrumental in the region's growth and prosperity.

This ten mile section of the trail is a very easy and pleasant walk.  The trail passes a few roads along the way, which allows for day hikers to do section hikes in this area.  There are some few views of the Black River as the trail gets closer to Forestport.  When you reach Dutch Hill Road and Alder Pond across the street marks the end of following the old canal.  This begins a road walk to the Adirondack Blue Line.

Currently it's a 6.4 road walk to the Adirondack Blue Line via North Lake Road, then another 1.6 miles to the Stone Dam trailhead and the first off road section of the NCT in the Adirondacks.

NOTE:  Currently the bridge over the Black River is closed to vehicle traffic in Forestport.  Hikers can cross.

North Country Trail following the Black River Canal

Black River

Mileage Elevation Trail Description
0.0 1124 feet

Nice & Easy Gas Station just of NY 12 on Main Street.  Follow NY 12 North briefly (BUSY ROAD).

0.15 1122 feet

Turn right into Erwin Park on access road.  Parking area on right.  Veer left toward covered bridge.

0.25 1125 feet

Cross covered bridge, turn right.  Follow towpath past gate.  Feeder Street parking area.

0.7 1119 feet

Bench on your left.

1.0 1119 feet

Cross Sargent Road.  Parking.

1.3 1119 feet

Cross bridge for canal overflow.

1.55 1120 feet

Gas pipeline ROW.  View on your left.

1.75 1119 feet

Cross Moose River Road.

2.45 1116 feet

Cross Hayes Road West.

3.6 1119 feet

Cross County Route 61.

4.45 1135 feet

Cross Lachausse Road.

5.45 1119 feet

Cross Millers Woods Road.

6.6 1118 feet

Cross Edmonds Road.

8.4 1118 feet

Pass gate.

9.25 1115 feet

Views of Black River.

9.75 1123 feet

Reach Dutch Hill Road and Alder Pond.  Turn left and follow road.

10.0 1110 feet

River Road.  On the right is Forestport Reservoir Falls.  Parking.  Bridge over Black River.  End of this section.

Boonville Covered Bridge near Erwin Park along the North Country Trail

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